In and out in 90 seconds. kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com
In and out in 90 seconds. kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com

I'll Bite

Cooking, Eating and Food-Loving in the Carolinas

I'll Bite

Here’s your first look at Dilworth’s new pizza palace – and its secret ingredient

July 11, 2017 09:23 AM

UPDATED July 11, 2017 12:12 PM

If you’ve been to the original location of Inizio Pizza in Providence Commons (10620 Providence, so it’s pretty far east), you’re already familiar with Grant Arons’ style: Three-day fermented dough, wood-burning ovens, crackly crust.

The night before the new location in Dilworth (2230 Park Road, right next to the Blossom Shop) opened Tuesday, Arons invited a few food types in to watch and learn.

A few things to look for when you go by:

1. The two ovens. Made by a family in Naples, they’re fired with red and white oak and cook at more than 1,000 degrees. It takes about 90 seconds per pizza. When the ovens arrived for installation, one was just a tad larger than the other. So their names are Pebbles and Bam Bam.

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The wood-fired ovens are slightly different sizes, so they’re nicknamed Pebbles and Bam Bam.
Kathleen Purvis

2. The water. OK, it’s in the dough so you can’t see it, but Arons thinks you can taste it. After repeated tests with sourdough cultures, cake yeasts and different waters, Arons decided he had to bring in water bottled in Italy. The mineral content is denser and the pH balance is right. “I needed to prove it to myself,” he says. “I didn’t care about the novelty, I cared about the dough. It’s not cost-prohibitive.”

3. Arons’ style is Neapolitan pizza, which has a crackly outer crust and a soft, almost spongy interior. It’s so soft, you can fold it in half and in quarters. When you buy pizza in Naples, he says, it’s folded rather than cut. “That’s the original pizza by the slice.”

4. Gelato and cannoli. The gelato comes in a half-dozen rotating flavors (cherry has whole chunks of cherries and it’s pretty spectacular) and the cannoli have new flavors, including a lemon with chunks of lemon and pistachio.

Gelatos are available in a half-dozen flavors every day.
Kathleen Purvis

5. Pizza prices: Expect $10 to $15 for smaller traditional (red sauce) pizzas that would serve one or two and $15 to $22 for the larger size, and $13 to $16 and $19 to $23 for larger special (no red sauce) pizzas.